How to improve contract approval process and efficiency.

A man looks for ways to improve the contract approval process on his tablet.

Contract approval is an essential part of the purchasing process. Learn more about how your company can streamline the contract approval process flow to keep work moving forward.

A contract approval process is needed to ensure your company can acquire the goods and services it needs to operate. But what happens when the approval process causes delays in getting work done? Try using a PDF contract approval request form and electronic signatures to keep the approval process moving along.

What does the contract approval process involve?

Once a contract has been drafted, the document should pass through a contract approval process flow to ensure it undergoes proper review and receives the required signatures to put it into effect. These steps usually include:

  1. Receive a contract request from the appropriate internal team members
  2. Generate the contract based on an approved template
  3. Route the contract to the legal team for review
  4. Implement any requested changes or redlines
  5. Route the contract through finance and operations personnel
  6. Implement any requested changes or redlines
  7. Send the contract to external stakeholders for review and signature
  8. Countersign the contract as applicable once all external approvals are received

How to improve your company’s contract approval process.

Here are some ideas to help speed up the contract approval process flow for your team:

  1. Use a concurrent approval process rather than a consecutive one. Email an editable PDF version of the contract to all the approvers simultaneously, rather than to one after the other. Then, integrate their responses into a final draft for the last review.
  2. Detail the process steps for everyone involved. This task includes accommodating the client’s own deadline requirements and clarifying in advance whether amendments such as redlines will be considered or accepted.
  3. Confirm all of the necessary parties, both internal and external, who will need to review and sign the contract.
  4. Consider authorizing short-term contingency contracts that will allow work to move forward while the complete agreement is reviewed and negotiated.

Steps to avoid contract approval process delays.

Examining and understanding all the various terms and conditions of a contract can be a lengthy process. But sometimes, to keep work moving forward, there isn’t time to complete a long process — for example, when your company needs to bring on a new subcontractor in a hurry. Having a streamlined approval process can help you get contracts approved and signed quickly.

Other ways to avoid delays in the contract approval process that can impact your operations and your bottom line include:

Review and revise contract approval process flow.

Even with a solid contract management process in place, administrators should not become complacent. By reviewing the documents, procedures, and supporting systems used to move contracts forward on a regular basis, you can avoid delays resulting from changes to personnel and processes that may no longer be applicable.

Continually optimizing your contract approval process can help you identify applicable improvements long before they are needed. Consider implementing a quarterly or annual review with the following tasks:

Using an automated contract approval process vs. manual.

Automating contract approvals presents a number of benefits for companies and teams struggling with manual processes. Here are just a few you can look forward to as you look to use technology to enhance your own procedures.

Electronic signatures to approve contracts faster.

Remember, you can streamline your company’s contract approval process using PDF forms with electronic signatures. Don’t waste time printing approval requests and waiting for managers to sign them. Simply request a signature by emailing a PDF approval request that managers can sign electronically.

Take a moment to discover everything that’s possible with Adobe Acrobat for business today, from creating electronic signatures and digital signatures to managing digital document workflow.